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Ruminant animals: two-step digestion
What they are - biological definition
Ruminants are herbivorous mammal animals belonging to the suborder Ruminantia. These animals perform the digestion in two phases.
Main features of ruminanes:
- The main characteristic of these animals is the digestion of the food in two steps: in the first step they chew and swallow the food (herbs, vegetables and grasses mainly). In the second stage they regurgitate the food cake (chewed food with saliva) to chew and swallow again. In this way they can remove as much nutrients as possible from the food.
- They feed on leaves, stems, roots and even seeds of plants.
- They are polygastric animals. The stomach of most ruminants is composed of four cavities: rumen, cap, omaso and abomasum.
- Intestinal flora adapted for this digestion process.
- In the digestive system of ruminants there are bacteria capable of digesting cellulose.
Examples of ruminant animals:
- Bison (bison)
- Domestic goat
- Ibex (common goat in Europe)
Llama: A ruminant animal typical of the Andean countries.